By: Jud Fisher and Donna Munchel—
Over twenty organizations have recently been awarded Rapid Grants by Ball Brothers Foundation. The grants are designed to provide funding in the amount of $5,000 or less to help organizations launch a new program or project, purchase equipment, address safety needs, or take advantage of special opportunities.
Among the grants recently awarded were several to support early childhood education. A $2,500 grant to Back to School Teachers Store will allow the organization to pilot a new outreach initiative to make classroom supplies available at no charge to high-quality childcare centers, home day care centers, and licensed ministry childcare facilities. Back to School Teachers Store is working with other partners on its outreach efforts, including Muncie and Delaware County’s BY5 Early Childhood Initiative.
Another grant, totaling $1,000, will allow Huffer Memorial Children’s Center to make needed safety improvements to its outdoor playground. As a high-quality childcare center, Huffer is required to meet rigorous licensing standards. Support from Ball Brothers Foundation will help Huffer to ensure it is in compliance with these standards.
Muncie Public Library also received funding through the Rapid Grant program. Library branches including Kennedy, Connection Corner, and Maring-Hunt are benefitting from the $2,000 grant which will support the purchase of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) educational toys. All age ranges of children will benefit. The educational toys are designed to spark children’s interest in learning while promoting fine motor skills, balance, and pattern recognition. For older children, the Muncie Public Library hopes to spark interest in robotics and circuitry.
“Rapid Grants allow Ball Brothers Foundation to respond quickly to important community needs throughout the year. While the dollar amounts for these grants are often small, these grants make an outsized impact. The diversity in the projects and organizations funded shows that great things are happening throughout our community. Ball Brothers Foundation is proud to be able to support the people and organizations that make our community an excellent place to live and work.”
Other Rapid Grants awarded include: Ball State University, Old West End Community Gateway, $5,000; Ball State University, Health and Wellbeing Resource Guide, $3,840; Community Enhancement Projects, Inc., County Building Landscaping, $1,000; Cowan Community Schools, Outdoor Activities at Camp Adventure, $3,452; Delaware County Sheriff’s Office Reserves, Motorcycle Communications, $5,000; Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District, Prevented Planting Cost Share Acres, $5,000; East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, Strategy & Lead Generation Program, $5,000; Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Delaware County Conservation Officer Equipment, $1,115; Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, Business Expansion Consulting Support, $1,000; Indiana Youth Institute, Organizational Effectiveness Continued Support for Ross Community Center, $5,000; Inside Out, Hot Meals Branding Initiative, $5,000; Inspire Academy, Sound System, $2,500; IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Symposium on the Role of Arts in Community Development, $2,500; Motivate Our Minds, Composting Toilet, $5,000; Monroe Township (Cowan) Volunteer Fire Department, Engine 72 Equipment, $3,800; Muncie Action Plan, Small Grants Program for Neighborhoods, $5,000; Muncie Arts and Culture Council, Cintas Redevelopment Project, $2,700; Muncie Police Department, 2015 Body Camera Initiative, $5,000; Randolph County Soil and Water Conservation District, Mississinewa River Logjam Removal, $2,000, Whitely Community Council, Whitely Makeover, $1,000; Yorktown Community Schools, Delaware County Teachers WeLearn Conference, $5,000.
Rapid Grant applications are accepted from February 1-November 30. Details about all Ball Brothers Foundation funding opportunities are available on the foundation’s website at www.ballfdn.org.